Diane: The Return

May 24th, 2017

Welcome back to Diane.

Join Rosie, Adam and Mark for the first of our reaction shows, where we offer our initial thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return – Episodes one and two/Parts 1 & 2.

In this episode we try to embitter our excitement with a dash of critical distance, name the worms crawling through the resurrected body of the show, and ask just what it all means for the show’s life-after-life. In doing so, this is Diane, we will of course explore the liminal contours and magickal connections infesting our all-new-all-old favourite show.

Laura kept her promise. It’s been 25 years in the waiting room, but now it feels like the White Lodge is everywhere.

Twin Peaks is back. !hajulellaH

Theme from Diane is by the wonderful Mass Roman of Strangers from Birth. Cheers Mass, you make us what we are.

For the duration of Twin Peaks: The Return, recap episodes of Diane will appear on Tuesday or Wednesday on Libsyn.

Diane is making extra content which you can find on Patreon.

If you like what Diane does and want to say thanks, please head over to iTunes and give her a whopping Five Star Review!

You can chat to Diane here on the old Mindless Ones Dot Com or @dianepodcast.

You can come tumbl with her on tumblr. Please do so. You look nice, she says.

Next week: What’s in the box? Not that box.

9 Responses to “Diane: The Return”

  1. Sean Says:

    Hello Diane gang! Rosie, Adam, Bobsy, Mark! Glad to see you’re back and covering the new episodes! It’s Sean from tumblr (captainquixotic and Fire blog with me) and first I want to say hello it’s been too long. Although I’ve been quiet, I’ve kept up to date with all the podcasts and gotta extend my praise to the quality of work. Always top notch, all. You’re my favorite twin peaks podcast because your commentary always resonates with my own wavelength.

    Some disjointed thoughts and points re: Parts 1 & 2 (ignoring 3&4 because I assume you have not watched those yet)

    I love how the new episodes recontextualized and recycled Cooper’s Dream! In the original series, Cooper’s Dream was established early on (the third episode) as a generator or genesis (to continue with the resurrection/epochal points you raised) of narrative momentum–the various clues like “That Gum You Like…” , “Sometimes my arms bend back.”, “there’s always music in the air”, “this is my cousin, doesn’t she look almost exactly like Laura Palmer?”, etc. were used through Season 1 and into early Season 2 (although that had its own generator with The Giant and his cryptic clues).

    In Part 1 & 2, Frost and Lynch revisit both to generate mystery and momentum for the Return. In Part 1, we get a new version of the Giant’s “I will tell you three things”/other guiding messages: here the giant says “Listen to the sounds. It is in our house now. Remember 4-3-0. Richard and Linda. Two birds with one stone. Do you understand?” Which I am fairly certain will function together with my next point as a central driving force of the mystery/narrative once Coop has become revitalized/reborn. Coop’s dream is recreated: the dream is almost exactly the same except for minor differences i.e. The Little Man from Another Place is missing and Laura suffers some sort of otherworldly attack and is pulled upwards into the Lodge as a scared and concerned/confused Coop watches. And before that moment where Laura disappears distressed, she kisses Coop and whispers something inaudible in his ear. In the original show version of the dream vision, Laura’s whispered secret was “My father killed me.” But I don’t think that’s what she whispered here in Part 2. I think that the whisper was kept inaudible because it will similarly be up to Coop to follow the Giant’s clues and holistically utilize both hemispheres of his brain etc. to uncover what Laura had whispered. It must have been of grave importance because Coop’s smile becomes a look of concern when Laura whispers and then laura violently disappears…

    I’ll try to break up my thoughts in multiple posts so I don’t create too much walls of text in one single comment. And so I can gather my thoughts in multiple sittings rather than all at once. Each hour/part/episode of The Return is just so dense textually and formally it’s hard to unpack it all.

  2. Sean Says:

    Further thoughts:

    Re: How I felt about it? I have to echo your sentiments in the podcast regarding how much of a vision it is and how different it is in terms of the televisual landscape etc. the way I’ve described it to friends and my partner is that it was an obliteration in the best of ways.

    Re: Rosie’s comment of disjointedness. It reminds me of the pilot portion of Mulholland Drive and a more than passing resemblance to The Missing Pieces.

    I love the sprawling quest feel. I love it. It’s such a Frostian aspect.

    I also really loved the Glass Box. Felt so high tech, and though the tech is such a new aspect of the Lynchian lexicon, it felt so right. The Yantra Machine?! Orgone Accumulator ? I can’t decide which I liked better. Also!!! I had the same conspiracy theory you did about how the guards were missing and that it was another more explicit sacrifice (echoing the more implicit sacrificial quality of the Laura Palmer story) of the girl and guy (Tracey and Sam).
    Also, the demon alien entity (what shall we call that monstrous horrible thing??) was so terrifying. In fact, I’m really enthused about all the new spirit/horror aspects (the new realms and entities and mythos).

    I loved BOB COOP. He was such a bad ass. Also, of course. I imagined something sorta like it, in that if I see BOB’s influence as being more symbiotic and enhancing the dark side of the host’s qualities then it makes sense that each “possession” is different. For Coop? Remember he was an ace detective, he had uncanny marksmanship (one of my predictions was that BOB COOP would always “put two shots through each eye and one through each nostril”, always two steps ahead, etc. Of course BOB COOP will be the ultimate villain. Oops I mean Mister C!

    The Buckhorn location is just so much fun. Hank the Maintenance Man, the exasperated beat cops, Marjorie Green (imagine having to hold conversation with Marjorie and Lucy), Principal Bill Hastings was mesmerizing, Phyllis Hastings felt like an echo of Catherine’s Mega Bitch (loved her scene with Bill in the jail cell where they unload all that bottled up resentment).

    Darya’s death reminded me of Maddy’s death sort of, I guess like you all mentioned Maddy’s Death Scene by way of Tarantino.

    Some random shorter thoughts:
    • The Ace of Spades card was so creepy. It could be a black dog, an Ant’s head (Dumbland), a floppy eared Rabbit (Inland Empire), perhaps the Owl Cave symbol (in which case I’d think it recontextualizes that from an owl silhouette/corn stalk into a visage of some face), or perhaps something even more novel perhaps a new entity… something that invokes that Hole in Things. A Faceless Visage? I don’t know.

    • Log Lady tells Hawk that he must find something that is missing and the way he will find it is through his heritage. I believe that the murder scene in Buckhorn South Dakota is in an apartment on Arrowhead Road(Street? Idr). Perhaps that is one possible way that Twin Peaks is connected to South Dakota.

    • LOVED THAT CHARCOAL SPIRIT IN THE JAIL CELL.

    • one of my favorite lines was Hasting’s confession of his dreamZ

    • Jacoby’s Golden Shovels? Just a thematic thought but not a literal one. It relates as an evocation of mortality and reconciliation/redemption. I can elaborate with evidence later if you are interested. But uh like Mark Frost mentioned in interviews that a major theme is mortality and the ruthless passage of time. Looking at the central story of Coop vs Coop, Mister C (BOB COOP) wants to avoid/prevent his return to the Black Lodge. In a way it’s about BOB Coop attempting self preservation, a quest for immortality, for extending/delaying/preventing the 25 year deadline. So in that way, I think that the golden shovels might be related (again just as a thematic resonance, or just as you know a more rewarding reading than simply dismissing it as some throwaway quirk or whatever). Just my amateur attempt to outline magical undercurrents and symbolic grammars. I brought this up on another forum and was shut down as thinking too much so I’d like to disclaimer it as just a frivolous thematic musing.

    • Las Vegas is an interesting new location too and I’m excited to investigate the underbelly of it much like LA’s magical unveiling in Mulholland Drive.

    • The Evolution of the Arm is something I didn’t know I would see in this world and I am so grateful I did. It was brilliant and I feel touched by something cosmic, kinda like a touch of evil but more cosmically ambiguous than that but still horrifying.

    • The Lodge was pretty different actually, idk how I really feel about it tho I loved the new entities and the infinite possibilitiesZ
    I loved NONEXISTENCE, the defiance of physics, the falling in space, and the Coop in Box sequence.

    So much to unpack ahhhh . This is gonna be a crazy summer, friends.

  3. Mark Says:

    Hello there, Sean.

    Charcoal spirit! I like it! I didn’t have time to properly compose or get into my thoughts about him last Diane, but i might attempt it here. It’s like, even though Bill Hastings has probably committed this terrible murder, everything about him feels sorta safe, bright and soap operatic. Until that thing in the cell. Just the idea of being haunted by a thing like that, always just out of sight but there. The way it looks so sad and mournful. The horror of no hope, filthy, hidden rooms. The rubbish tip at the end of all things. A vagrant in your house, under the stairs. It reminds me of Aunt Ida in Mad Men, and like her may justifiably get it’s creators accused of classism. But juxtaposed with Hastings’ deeply middle class life, and the comfortable, amusingly absurd story mode it’s embedded in, it takes on a powerful charge.

  4. Paul Jon Thrillin' Says:

    I am not that good at the ol’ tv analysis, but here are relatively lowbrow, disjointed thoughts on ep 1 and 2:

    -Reckon you’re right about the outside-box sexy liaison being set up to charge the Party Box up. Loved that whole section, just great off-kilter sci-fi, amongst other things

    - Initial thought was that the dimensionally-unsound box monster was the horrific manifestation of Coop in the ‘real world’ as he tries to find his way back but doesn’t have a body to inhabit yet, but that doesn’t really hold much water, I have just read too many comics

    - “James is cool, james has always been cool” scene absolutely destroyed me, I would have wept loads if my mind drugs didn’t flatten my emotions out. Could feel the ol’ pressure behind my eyes. Even without that, just James looking happy out at a club with his, was it his nephew?, was so heartwarming it was almost too much. A very generous scene.

    - Are reviews really not mentioning the look of the thing?!? It’s so important, the change of the soapy look of Old Peaks to the hyper-real HD modern soapiness of the new series gives it a quite different texture I can’t really articulate, that makes it feel both more ‘real’ and more artifical.

    - Also, the kind of less-than-amazing (intentional, or budgetary, not sure it matters) special effects work SO WELL in this context, they are uncanny and jarring and nightmarish but also quite casual in places (charcoal spirit’s head floating off) and I love this disregard for spurious ‘realism’ in them.

    - Evil Mr. C is incredible, as he’s not ‘cool’, he is seedy and gross and as mentioned in the podcast, his look is perfect for getting across who he is immediately

    - These first 2 eps just felt very generous in general. Lots of ‘cool shit’ happening, more explanations than we’re used to and loads to chew over, lots of new stuff so it’s not just a nostalgia exercise… I loved it so much, absolutely surpassed my expectations.

  5. Jason Bowen Says:

    The “In our house now” bit really freaks me out. I’m sure it will come down to a fairly literal clue that echoes the giant later on (similar to “that gum you like”) but it really stuck out to me as something related to the mechanics of the lodge and it’s current situation.

    The black and white (or grey?) room could be anything, but it resonated with me as a reference to this whole marriage between two worlds business that gets mentioned in (i think?) fwwm. A scarier thought for me is that this is the white lodge, and something from the black lodge has stepped over to cause some trouble. (I don’t know if I buy that, but that’s mostly because the descriptions we get from Briggs in season 2 seem at odds with the imagery here.)

    I’m assuming the clues will just be referencing a surface level event or murder, and could totally see someone on the phone to the police saying that line as they plead for them to send help. But I can’t shake the feeling that the lodge itself is in a state of chaos. Bob has stopped bringing in the garmonbozia, and the other spirits are literally just withering away.

    The little man becoming the nervous system/tree seems to be a consequence of becoming malnourished. It’s starved without Bob fulfilling it’s/his role in the lodge and is only relinquishing Cooper to generate more sustenance. It all goes right back to appetite again. (And resonates so much with Peaks lore! Ghost wood! The sycamore trees!)

    However it turns out, i’m pretty ecstatic. The music has been great.

  6. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » SILENCE! #227 Says:

    [...] <ITEM> That gum you like is stuck to your backside. It’s a quick chat about the Twin Peaks: The Return, although for your detailed anal cysts, head to Diane. [...]

  7. Anton B Says:

    Hi guys. I’ve been commenting mostly on twitter in the interim but now you’re back on Mindless Ones with the new season (!!) I thought I’d take the opportunity to witter on a bit here if that’s okay.

    Your analysis of the first two episodes is spot-on as usual. Loving your work.

    Now, having rewatched all four available episodes myself some thematic resonances seem to be emerging for me around magick and performativity.

    Lynch is a magician. His spells, his movies, paintings and music releases, even his promotion of transcendental meditation are a continuing process of personal transformation and expansion for him. A magickal working via a performative medium.

    The opening scene in grainy monochrome between Cooper and the Giant in an unspecified liminal space recalls the aesthetic of his Lynch’s first major working, ‘Eraserhead’ and the leisurely unfolding dynamic seems almost a continuation of his last film ‘Inland Empire’. Thus we get a portrayal of the artistic through-line. An arrow pointing us in a certain direction. (The sacrifice of two victims male and female, body and head, on ‘Arrowhead road’ seems significant beyond the problematic ‘Hawk’s heritage’connection). The direction, fittingly seems to be that of a Homeric ‘heroes return’

    The male female sacrifice is then repeated and echoed in New York. The glass vacuum box like an early TV tube or one of Nikola Tesla’s bonkers electrical magic tricks is eventually revealed to be some kind of magickal portal through which a pale demon emerges to eviscerate the man and his illicit hot date. Later it will fail to provide egress for Cooper; our contemporary Odysseus.

    The demon could also be a close cousin of those other 1990s obsessions the UFO ‘Greys’. This is perhaps where the influence of Mark Frost comes into play. The twin dynamic of Lynch’s oblique magickal visions given form and substance via a professional TV writer’s discipline was always an intriguing aspect of the original Twin Peaks narrative.

    Once again Lynch seems to be creating a new kind of viewing experience. A collaged melange of signal and noise. The seemingly disparate and as yet unconnected scenes and locations shot in a variety of styles feels like channel surfing as art and I’m happy to trust Lynch with control of my remote. Lynch is the master editor and director, always knowing just how long to stay on one channel, when to hold a shot, when to pause a piece of dialogue with almost Pinteresque persistence and when to abruptly cut away from a scene because he’s impatient to show us something else.

    We must address Evil Cooper of course, The doppelganger. A Lynchian monster straight out of ‘Wild at Heart’ or ‘Blue Velvet’. McLachlan is playing Frank Booth by way of Sailor Ripley On the run and in our world. He shoots his victims through the left eye (the window to the soul?) Recalling his expert marksmanship on the shooting range with Truman, Hawk and Andy in the original series. Most disturbing is his repeated assertion that he “needs nothing, wants everything”. There’s a motive for a monster if you needed one. His only plan seems to be to avoid having to return to the Black Lodge where we know the good Cooper is trapped if he doesn’t.

    There is some fairy tale changeling logic at play here. But he’s being split more ways than two. The magickal working (within the narrative not in Lynch’s spell) has gone awry. The extraordinary intensity of McLachlan’s performances as Cooper, Evil Cooper, Dougie and Mister Jackpots is a joy to behold. I particularly liked his understated acknowledgement of the ‘Sycamore Road’ street sign as Jade drove him to the casino.

    The scenes back in the Red Room are simple and effective. Lynch has never been that interested in special effects for their own sake. Here the simple wipes and fades, the oddly disturbing animatronic ‘Extension of the Arm’ tree with a brain, the light behind Laura’s mask are deliberately utilised to remind us that we’re witnessing art. A vibrant magickal working not a CGI popcorn movie.

    The intensity of performance Lynch as director gets from his cast is amazing. Cera’s grandstanding yet somehow understated Wally Brando, Darya’s prolonged final scene, The way the old cast, Michael Horse, Tamblyn, Coulson, Amick effortlessly manage to conjure older versions of their characters in brief brushstrokes. This is just magickal.

  8. Sean Says:

    Now that I’ve listened to your podcast on Parts 3+4, I will send some thoughts on The Return Parts 1-4.

    The Lodge (and maybe post-Lodge realms/spaces) are amazing, aren’t they? I felt that shifted aesthetic or vibe in The Red Room too, from spooky horror space to “challenging cerebral science fiction space”. It’s still hard to get used to the presence of narrative/plot structure and mechanics in this once structure-less place, almost like in 25 years of Earth time “plot/narrative” has taken root as an invasive species and fundamentally altered this 4+ Dimensional world. Shades of Grant Morrison in there (with 5D being imagination and by extension stories in general).

    With regards to new realms/locations:
    *the Black & White opening scene from Part 1 with The Giant (???????) and Cooper is a place in christening either The Scorched Room for its burned out looking carpets and furnishing, or The Smoking Room because it’s interior design and the Giant’s new apparel recall Smoking Room/penthouse culture (i.e. Giant’s robe reminds me of Hugh Hefner archetypes etc.)

    *The setting of the opening dream logic sci fi scene that starts Part 3 is something I have heard referred to by fans as The Purple Room or Mauve Room which really fits the conventions of The Red Room and Pink Room and I can’t argue with that kinda perfect. But I also have a fondness for my title for it: The Tower, or if necessary The Purple/Mauve Tower if you fancy. I like that because it is not wrong, it is in fact a tower monolithic waiting in that endless purple sea and purple sky. Also, The Tower connects it with a certain Tarot major arcana that I know you lot also have fondness for.

    Also, before I go (gonna watch Wonder Woman with the girlfriend) I’d like to mention one thing in connection to The Tower/Purple Room. As you mention in the most recent podcast, “The magician” has detailed many connections between it and Binah. In mark Frost’s Secret History, he mentions Jack Parsons attempted Thelemic rituals to summon Babalon, the Mother of Abominations. And as we all remember, MOTHER was knocking on the door to the Tower.

  9. Sean Says:

    back again before Part 5 airs:

    *Cooper is undergoing hyper-fragmentation; Prismatic/ Fractal Coopers: Cooper, Evil COOP/Mr. C, Dougie Jones, Mr. Jackpots, Sonny Jim Jones, and maybe more collapses, echoes, and mirrors incoming of the platonic Cooper. This is evocative of theoretical sciences, lending the story a further science fiction air, but also reminiscent of shamanistic journeys (shaman destroyed and torn apart by spirits and reassembled into a stronger holistic self afterwards, brings to mind again Grant Morrison’s work especially his Batman run) which retains those symbolic grammars/magickal undercurrents, horror ish aesthetic too. Love it and think it’s a great way to explore Cooper’s character in a complementary way to FWWM’s exploration of Laura.

    *i can’t get (among many other things) The Crystal Cube/Glass Box out of my head… there’s just something about it’s iconography that is magnetic. The industrial, sci fi vibe of it all. The Cube/Box (Yantra Machine/Orgone Accumulator) is a three-dimensional machine that is (albeit fleetingly) capturing 4+ Dimensional Entities. There’s something beautifully high concept weird there, but also poetic (maybe?): It’s like bacteria setting up a net to catch a scientist, or a stick figure doing the same. As mentioned earlier in one of my posts, gotta show love to the Yantra and Orgone connections Rosie and Mark+Adam brought up before. I’ll also throw in that, in reaction to the Binah connections you lot discuss in your recent podcast, cubes (i.e. The Glass Box) have thelemic/Tree of Life connections too. Sacred geometries of cubes include The Black Cube of Saturn, which diverges into many different occult branches of varying resonance with Twin Peaks, but with focus on Binah/Tree of Life, The Black Cube or Cubes in general when flattened form a hexagon which overlaps the upper levels of Tree of Life including Binah as one of its 6 points. Perhaps the Cube/Box shape was chosen as a way of matching up the geometries and frequencies of this 3-Dimensional apparatus with the geometry/frequency of the targeted higher dimensional realms? Maybe it is nothing, but just thought that was an interesting bit of relevant trivia.

    *I really can’t wait for Cooper to interact with Frank and the new deputies/visit the new and improved Twin Peaks sheriff department. I doubt it will be as tough as Deer Meadow was for Chet and Sam, but for example Deputy Chad might give Cooper some minor obstacles.

    *Wally Brando Brennan is one of the greatest new characters to be added to this series. I really hope he appears more in the series, with or without his own subplot (I’d be happy with just having him show up across the United States interacting with other characters for more 3-5 min skits lol). Such a Mark Frost creation too, I could see his touch from the moment Wally Brando began speaking. I kinda hope that Dick Tremayne is a god father or “honorary uncle” in Wally’s life. All I want is Dick Tremayne, Andy, Lucy, and Wally Brando to have some scene(s) together.

    *Re: Tammy Preston. I liked her a lot in The Secret History book, and so far I don’t feel strongly one way or another towards her in the Return. It’s still pretty early and she has not had much to do so I’m hoping that when the story momentum picks up (i.e. That Frostian bringing story threads together before releasing again) that Tammy gets a better showing.

    *Fix your hearts or die. Beautiful.

    *Bobby and James team up in future parts? But I don’t wanna leave out Mike “Snake” Nelson, bring them in as a sort of modern Harry/Hawk/Big Ed bookhouse trio?

    *I’m wondering if this will be a series about mothers, the way the original was about fathers. Not that it will be the only theme of interest: definitely passage of time/aging/mortality will play a huge thematic role, etc. Cooper’s mother plays a huge role in his life, see: My Life My Tapes. Also it would tie in to MOTHER (of Abominations), and also maybe give some deserved focus to Sarah Palmer?

    * I think that is all I have for now… I need to see Part 5 now, it’s been two weeks too long! Haha

    Oh and also, as usual, the podcasts have been amazing guys. Favorite twin peaks podcast bar none. Congratulations on the excellent work and thank you for sharing it with us, Rosie Bobsy Adam and Mark (and the behind the scenes crew!).

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